Liposuction: Is It Permanent?
Liposuction is a body contouring procedure continually topping the list of the most popular cosmetic procedures pursued by plastic surgery patients. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s most recent 2013 statistics, liposuction was the number one most popular cosmetic surgical procedure, followed by breast augmentation. With 363,912 procedures performed nationwide in 2013 alone, the commonality of liposuction speaks for itself—but there are still many questions to be answered as to how it works.
A common question I often hear regards the permanence of liposuction. Though losing inches and fat from liposuction certainly sounds attractive, patients want to know if fat can come back post-operation. Excess fat, whether prominent or tucked away in areas only we notice personally, is something that many of us struggle with. If you’re in good health overall but possess isolated areas of exercise-resilient fat, liposuction or body sculpting may be an answer to this commonly shared cosmetic concern. Now, back to the question—is liposuction permanent?
To be frank, the answer to this question is not entirely simple. Liposuction works by surgically removing fat by an auxiliary method such as ultrasound, laser energy, or vibration through a thin metal tube (also known as a cannula) inserted into a tiny incision hidden inside the treatment area. An additional method frequently used is tumescent liposuction, which involves injecting a tumescent fluid (a custom solution of local anesthetic and saline) to minimize pain and bleeding. After these fat cells are eliminated from the body, they are permanently removed. However, any fat cells left over maintain the ability to contract or expand based on your weight loss or gain.
Based on this fact alone, we’re reminded of the significance of liposuction’s status as a cosmetic procedure rather than a method of weight loss. It’s important to reach a maintainable goal weight before surgery to avoid unwanted outcomes like dimpling and uneven contouring. Liposuction is a great way to decrease bothersome areas if you’re a few pounds within your ideal body weight. For patients with smaller areas of excess fat, Band Aid Liposuction may be performed in-office with gentle numbing like my other Band Aid Plastic Surgery techniques.
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